HARDCOVER BOOK RELEASE!
October 11th, 2022
Regardless of age, we all struggle at times with letting our real feelings and needs be heard.
This is the message of The Lonely Toadstool, a story that empowers children to express themselves, knowing they are safe and will be surrounded with a caring community. When the lonely toadstool can no longer hold in his loneliness and despair, he “lets out a cry” and is surprised when the result is newfound friends and a welcome feeling of peace. Forest animals, a gnome, a fairy, insects and more, all creatures he thought were very different from him, hear his cry, and his anguish causes them to cease their activities and form a search party to help their neighbor in need.
As if holding their hand in friendship, this enchanting poetic story gently encourages the reader to see the importance of letting their own emotions and needs be known and to experience the unexpected human joy of exchanging loneliness for love and acceptance.
The Lonely Toadstool
- Hazel J. (Amazon review)
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The Lonely Toadstool Reviews & Feedback
"This book is such an adorable story to help kids learn that they are not alone and that sharing feelings can really help bring you out of your loneliness. In these times when our kids are so impacted by the pandemic and other stressors, it's great to have a book we can share to start a dialog with our kids."
- April C. (Goodreads)
"This enchanting book combines lovely artwork with a powerful story about love and compassion for others. The lyrical quality of the writing is especially noteworthy. The verses stand out and some are quite memorable. Perfect for children from two to elementary school age."
- John R. (Amazon)
"This book is very timely in our world of confusion, anxiety and seeking a place to share feelings. I’m sure that this book will benefit kids as they find encouragement and validation to their emotional feelings as well as a way to express them. Highly recommend to teachers, parents and even for those in a counseling setting."
- Janice A. (Goodreads)
"Beautiful illustrations and a moving book to read to a child. It demonstrates a safe place to let children know it’s okay to talk about your emotions and feelings with family, friends and new friends. Highly recommend!"
- Karen L. (Goodreads)
Poetry Reviews & Feedback
Overall Portfolio Review/Feedback on my Poetry by
Writer, Editor & Coach, Ann L. Stapleton:
There is a dear, brave, compassionate, bright spirit animating Kristin’s poems—an optimistic lover of life whose greatest fear is that someone somewhere might be missing out on all the incredible beauty, excitement, fulfillment, and yes, fun this life affords. You can’t learn this or acquire it. You simply have it or you don’t. And Kristin does. It’s lovely!
Love for Nature:
Kristin’s genuine and deep regard for nature and animals is lovely and very hopeful and finds its way into so many of her poems. Beautiful, how she advocates for other creatures and for the green world itself. Her poems say, to everyone and everything, and in such a healing way, “Live!”
The speakers in Kristin’s poems often inspire in the reader a high level of confidence and a desire to follow along wherever the path may take him, and this conviction that the journey will be worthwhile is seldom misplaced. Whether to the mysteries of nature, around the campfire of family life, or in the wilderness of a child’s own heart, she is a good guide.
Belief in Taking Action:
In Kristin’s work, the heights of being are to be reached, yes, but that is just the beginning of a journey that also requires action. She reminds the reader that life is not just to be observed and understood, but truly lived.
So many of Kristin’s poems extend heartfelt, essential invitations to others to “taste and see” this magical world we are so blessed to inhabit. Her poems are filled with many instances of an admirable generosity (both intellectual and emotional) as she seeks to bring everyone into the beautiful circle of life. Lovely!
So often Kristin’s poems reach out to rescue lost souls, misfits, or those who are isolated by their own self-doubt. This kindness and refusal to let loneliness win is one of the great gifts of her work. I can imagine that there are many children out there who are in need of her words of reassurance and comfort. This is such a lovely mission to embark upon!
Kristin’s poems exhibit a fine eye and ear for the comedic moments in life, particularly with regard to (though not limited to) the behavior of children. And she has a wonderful ability seemingly to report from inside the mind and heart of a little one, helping the reader feel supported in knowing (or remembering) what consequential work it is, this business of growing up.
The poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, describing the natural world in his “God’s Grandeur,” writes: “There lives the dearest freshness deep down things,” and I was reminded of this line as I read over Kristin’s poems. Her heart is wide open to this world and her expression is natural and feels newmade.
Kristin’s poems unfailingly exhibit a wonderful degree of empathy, and this ability to enter into the cares and hopes and daily ways of other lives is fundamental to all good poetry. And this is such an important quality to model for the younger generation. Caring begets more of the same, a lovely cycle.
Kristin has a wonderful vocabulary—flexible and diverse, and capable of encompassing deep adult concerns as well as those of children. She possesses a remarkable ability to render the world around her into the charming, honest, heartfelt language of childhood. Lovely.
Wonderful how Kristin’s poems foster a spirit of genuine caring and inclusivity. No one is left out or forgotten. Each one is taken by the hand and pulled close to the hearth to be warmed by human love and acceptance. All are welcome within the gently powerful, powerfully gentle blessing of her words.
An intrepid, can-do, let’s find the way together spirit informs all Kristin’s poems and gives the reader (especially the young one, I imagine) needed courage and excitement with regard to her own life in all its possibilities. This is a wonderful gift to hold out to others, and you never know how very much it might be needed.